thank you everyone!
Originally Posted by Linda on the move
Do you have parents around that help too? Could part of it be that there were things she thought your mom was doing? Has your in-laws financial situation changed since your kids were born?
How does your husband feel about this?
It's actually really normal for parents to do more for their adult daughters throughout life than they do for their sons. It's sexist -- a lot of parents always see their daughters as less capable than their sons.
It doesn't sound like you really need anything from them -- what do you WANT from them? What would make you feel loved? Feel like your kids are important? May be figuring that out and letting them in a nice way would be good.
My family is almost 3 hrs away. For my first, they were both about 20 hours. I'm not very close with them. MIL would definately defer to them if the issue came up.
How does DH feel -- It doesn't bother him as much as me, but he is disappointed in both his sisters and parents. In SIL for not stepping up and ILs for enabling her. Disappointed that SILs seem to expect MIL to do everything and that SILs seem a bit "lazy" (his word) about doing their research and doing what's best for baby. SILs seem to think it's about them, not about their babies. He was very creeped out when we found out MIL saw the delivery. But he's over it, and I'm not.
No, we don't need anything. What I want is to feel like my kids are just as important and SILs kids. Intellectually, I believe they are. It's just hard to feel right now with all those examples. What would knowing they're just as important look like? I'm not sure.
Originally Posted by JElaineB
I think any feelings you have are valid, but I think what you are dealing with here is that mothers are closer to their own daughters who have children, rather than their daughters-in-law. When I had my son, my mother flew halfway across the country to stay with me for two weeks. I had no expectation that my MIL who lived half an hour away (and who I like very much) would do anything similar (though she has helped us out with DS many many times since).
Sorry about this happening on you DD's bday, but I think you'll need to figure out a way to make peace with this as she'll now have a cousin with the same or very close bday.
Yes, I believe daughters vs DILs could sum it up. I also think this is about DH and I being more independent. Not only is he a son, but we're both firstborns. I just don't want my kids to be the ones left out because we don't need them.
Yeah, the same bday. DH and I were both sad about it. I know it should be something really special and twice the fun, but I can't help feeling that now it's the more important grandchild's birthday. We don't need them to celebrate, but neither do I want her to be the one to not get chosen.
Originally Posted by Krystal323
Oh dear! Not to invalidate your feelings at ALL--but do permit me to show them in a different light: Most likely you are much better off without their style of "help", and I think you know that too ;) I'd say embrace your independence from them, and instead of getting upset, try to focus on how many wonderful growth opportunities your family has gotten that they are essentially denying their own daughters.
Yeah, I get the denying their daughters growth part. I'm actually really worried about what will happen to that SIL when ILs can no longer fix everything. What upset me so much about the situation was SIL not stepping up and not dealing with her issues before she got pregnant, not that I didn't get that much "help". I definately need to focus on what we're doing right vs what I'm upset about.
Originally Posted by rainbow_mandala
I agree with some of the other posters--it sounds like your MIL might just be closer to her daughters, so she naturally feels the urge to do more for them during such a sensitive time in their lives. It's a cultural thing, for sure--she probably expects that your mother is doing for you what she has done and is doing for her daughters. She's not, though, is she? I assume not because otherwise you probably wouldn't feel so hurt, but I could be wrong. It sounds like you really like your MIL and you wish she could be there for you more, but maybe you're afraid of speaking up about it? I suggest writing her a letter, if you're comfortable, explaining how you feel and what hurt you about her behavior and maybe ask for her help more often. It's great being "independent" but we all need a little TLC, especially from family, whether they're blood-related or otherwise.
Yeah, not very close to my mom -- very insightful to pick up on that. I actually think sometimes my independence is a bit of a defense mechanism -- "no help, no problem, didn't need it anyway". Also I previously had a problem with my self-esteem being tied to accomplishments. MUCH better now, but still related.
I want to say again that I really like ILs and apart from their tendency to enable, really respect them. I think this is more about me. The birthday party was a problem because of the pattern. While I realize it was birth vs birthday, I felt it as "this new grandchild needs to be seen immediately vs this new grandchild we'll see when it's convenient in 6 weeks". There is so much more to that, I know, it's just how it felt and why it hurt so much.
The things they did for me were ok at the time, so they should still be ok. I think the problem is that I'm turning what they did into how important the kids were.
Also having trouble respecting SILs neediness. Sometimes I'm not sure I get the "it takes a village" thing. I'm definately hurt rather than jealous. I mean, I can't get mad at her for not being in the delivery room when I absolutely don't want her there! But the difference between visit at delivery and visit at 6 weeks is still hurting me. I'm more of the one to ask to be left alone for family time, or please keep visits short and bring dinner and do a chore. The idea that this SIL (the one with the older baby who was so obviously enabled) needed her mom even when she had her DH was kind of disturbing to me.
Please keep the comments coming!